• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Pizza Dough with Peter Campbell


Pizza Dough

Recipe by Peter Campbell

It’s Pizza Week in the AZ Cooks kitchen, and we’ve recruited our friend and pizza guru Peter Campbell, chef and owner of Minneapolis’ Red Wagon Pizza Co., to share his wisdom for creating restaurant-quality pizza at home. To start, he’s tackling pizza dough, probably the most daunting step for home cooks. Fear not, once you learn a few tricks of the trade you’ll be slinging dough in no time.

Watch Peter Campbell make the dough:

Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Pizza Dough with Peter Campbell

Servings: makes enough for 4 12-inch pizzas


  • 10 ounces very cold water (weigh out)
  • 2 teaspoons of dry active yeast
  • 16 ounces whole grain flour (weigh out)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt


Place the water and yeast into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix for about one minute to activate the yeast. Pour in the whole grain flour and mix for 3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the bowl half way through to make sure the flour is fully incorporated.

Throw salt on top of the mixed dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. After the dough rests, mix in one minute increments until the dough passes a window test (see note below) to verify gluten development. Once gluten development is verified, leave the dough in the mixing bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator until it doubles in size, or up to 24 hours. If you are making dough for dinner tonight, cover and place in a warm environment until it has doubled in size.

Once the dough has doubled in size, weigh it out into approximately four 9-ounce dough balls. In the palm of your hand, rotate the dough in a circular pattern until the top of the ball is smooth. Don’t be afraid of the dough ball. (If you mess up, just knead the dough, wait for it to rise and try again.) Allow the dough balls to rest for 15-20 minutes, covered so they don’t dry out. Once the dough has proofed, or risen for a second time, throw some flour down on a clean dry surface and press the dough ball flat.

Once the ball is flat, focus on the edges by pressing them completely flat to the surface you are working on. This will leave a higher point in the center of the dough ball, much like a small mound. Flip the dough ball over and slowly start to stretch the dough a little at a time from the edge while pushing down slightly in the middle. Again don’t be afraid, if you mess up just ball up the dough, wait for it to rise and try again.

Now that you have a 12-14 inch pizza spun out, place on a floured pizza peel. Ladle your sauce on the dough, lightly sprinkle with cheese and add your favorite toppings.

It’s time to bake! Place your pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 550 degrees F.

Slide the pizza onto the preheated stone. Turn the light on the oven and set a timer for 8 minutes. Check the pizza, if the cheese is getting golden brown and the crust is cooked, remove the pizza from the oven and place it onto a cooling rack. Once the pizza is set, about 1-2 minutes, slide it onto a cutting board, cut and enjoy!

* NOTE: A window test is the best way to tell if you’ve sufficiently mixed your dough. First, cut off a small piece of the dough about the size of a golf ball. Hold it between your thumb and first two fingers and gently spread your fingers and thumbs apart. Stretch the dough until you obtain a thin translucent ‘windowpane.’ If you can stretch the dough without it breaking, then the gluten is well developed and your dough is ready to rise. Put the ball back into the larger batch and allow it to rise. IF the dough tears before you’ve fully extended your fingers, the gluten isn’t quite ready yet. Continue to mix the dough in 1 minute increments and try the window test again. 

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